Thursday, August 26, 2010
Houseboating, but not like Huck Finn
Lake Shasta is a man made lake, created for both energy production and water storage, but it's recreation value is huge in this hot part of the country. Drought in recent years lowered the lake substantially and the muddy, rocky shorelines really reduced it's appeal. Since a lot of tourism dollars are dependent on the lake, draining it to irrigate golf courses and farms in the lower half of the state is a controversial topic. This year however, late spring rains filled the lake to the highest level in decades, and it was simply beautiful during our visit.
We made the trip with some other neighbor friends in their big truck which we all loaded with food, supplies, and people ready for a big adventure. Our friendly hosts had been out on the lake for a few days before us, and they met us at a launch ramp in a ski boat. These people are not only super nice, they also have super cool toys. We took the short boat ride to our fabulous, private little camping cove where our floating weekend home was waiting. After checking out our lodging and all the cool little spaces it had, the kids couldn't wait to go tubing and were really trying hard to restrain themselves from begging. Instead, boy child dropped what I imagine he thought were subtle hints until he roused the adults into taking them out.
After that, we were in the mood for food and a quiet and mellow paddle. Kayaks are a wonderful way to explore on water. They are stable and quiet, and easy to maneuver into shallow and small spaces. We watched a beautiful eagle soar overhead and a family of geese on the shore. We also found dozens of fish and a really strange looking, dead snake floating in the water. On my list of homeschooling items, I think kayaks would be a fabulous addition to our nature studies.
In reality, while we started out thinking about living on a houseboat like Huck Finn, our trip was actually nothing like it. We were totally pampered. We lounged in cozy chairs. We ate large quantities of tasty food like roasted chile peppers that were stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. We sipped ice cold beverages, and we talked whole a lot more than Huck and Jim did.